9 trends marketers should avoid in 2022

Shrenik Gandhi, chief executive officer and co-founder of indie agency White Rivers Media, lists the key marketing trends that marketers should stay well away from.

Think good marketing tactics are evergreen? Think again. The coordinated Instagram feeds, overcrowded hashtags and fake bots of the world are yesteryear stories. It’s time to wake up to the reality of marketing and growing your business going forward. Here’s a guide to help escape some outdated trends that are best left behind – even if they have been buzzing.

1. Take a moment away from moment marketing

Moment marketing creates a flurry of reactions, dawning its spotlight on participating brands. While this can be a quirky way to catch your audience off-guard, it may also be irrelevant to your product, hampering its overall retention value. Make note that not every moment is right for your brand to react to. Stick to your social media calendar, and highlight events and happenings that are personal to your brand.

2. Hash the hashtag

Social media platforms do not guarantee higher success rates, even if you’re clouding your post with 30 different hashtags. The efficacy of hashtags themselves is not proven, with newer AI/ML ways of content-ranking emerging every day. It’s best to limit the use of your hashtags to two or three of the most relevant subjects that fit the contents of your broadcast. Your brand can do better than #LiveLaughLove, trust us.

3. Don’t meme everything you say

Memes are one of the most shared content formats on the internet today. However, overdoing memes as a format may not be the best strategy to increase your reach. Analyze your product and brainstorm on its ‘shareability’ factor. Focus on educating and entertaining as an alternative.

4. Stop speaking Siri

Ditch the jargon, skip the follow-unfollow bots and reply with intent. Humanize your brand and let your consumers feel the authenticity of one-to-one communication. A sound reply is always better than a speedy reply.

5. Don’t try to sound cool, be cool

Leave the hip to the hoppers. Don’t jump on the ‘hey besties’ bandwagon just yet. Take time to discover your brand personality. Consumers scour for originality. Your communication style needs to resonate with your brand and product. Don’t thrive to have a fleeting personality based on what seems cool. Invent cool for your brand.

6. Cue the ‘credit’ card

Every new idea is part-recycled. In today’s creator-based economy it is crucial to give due credit for any material that hasn’t been created by your brand wholly. Make sure you give avid shout-outs and due recognition where needed. Collaborations and credits are cool.

7. Fire the ‘salesperson’ inside you

What you’re selling may not be exactly what your consumer is purchasing. Let that sink in. Avoid sounding pushy, generic and passive. Listen to your customer’s needs and shape your pitch to their cues. Sell to them, not at them.

8. Pick your influencers well

Influencer marketing is more of a brand awareness activity than it is a conversion marketing tactic today. Consumers are picky about who they follow and ‘get influenced’ by. Partner with influencers and creators who share similar ideologies to your brand. While it is a double-edged sword, strive to be authentic but impressive for your audience.

9. React, respond and restore

‘No comment’ culture may be best left to the celebs. As a brand, less interaction during turbulent times gives a bad impression. Address concerns, take the consumer backstage and communicate with them transparently.

Shrenik Gandhi is chief executive officer and co-founder of White Rivers Media, an independent, full-service Indian agency.